This review is a part of our ‘Social Media Strategy Review’ series where we do a 360 degree analysis of a brand’s entire social media activity. You can read the reviews of more brands here.
In 2005, when the news of IBM selling its personal computer business to an obscure Chinese company Lenovo who new the company will prove true to its name – Lenovo is a portmanteau meaning new legend (Le from Legend and novo from Latin ablative for “new”). Buying of PC business from IBM was the first step towards the brand’s public recognition, and since then there had been a rise in brand recognition. Lenovo has employed some cool tricks to build and strengthen a brand that was not known to the world, one of which included retaining IBM ThinkPad brand and piggybacking its rest of the product range to fame. Of late, the company has used social media as well for the purpose. In this article that is what we will discuss – efficacy of social media strategy of Lenovo India.
Audience Analysis of Lenovo India
Risking the label of being called sexist (or MCP as it is commonly called), I’ll say that it is understandable for a technology-brand that its social media fan base will consist primarily of male, despite female’s good understanding of the devices they use. Lenovo is not different in this regard. Almost 75% of its fans are male (see image below), and people between 21-40 eat up more than 60% of the pie (see the second image).
Reputation of a technology brand hangs with a thin thread. Even a small problem in the brand can create ruckus in the market. Lenovo is an example of that. Despite having some good product, like many other companies, it also has more than its share of criticism (see the first image), and though Lenovo enjoys a top-of-mind recall, not all of those who know about Lenovo think positively about the brand (see the second image below).
Lenovo is using social media to talk about its brand with its audience. Any real effort to engage people and build community around the brand seems to be missing from the plan. The main focus of Lenovo India’s social media strategy is akin to the media strategy it employs in traditional media.
Bitten by “traditional media” bug, Lenovo uses social media as a broadcast medium where it concerns primarily with things it wants to convey to the market without much regard to not only the nature of the platform it is using but also its audience, which wants some interaction. Contrast the engagement patterns of the following two images – the first one is about the brand being the number one brand in the world and the second one about a laptop stand in toilet, somewhere. Notice the difference in engagement. Unit of interaction with post 2 (second image) is way higher than that of the first image. The reason for such a difference can be found in the nature of content shared. In the first image the brand talks about itself being the number one, to which a typical response from people will be a shrug followed by “who gives the F#$@!” look, and the matter was worsen by the dull copy, whereas, in the next image there is a thing to excite readers which made them like the posts and share them to their friends.
Unfortunately, Lenovo mostly usage the first kind of image because of which the engagement graph looks like a roller-coaster ride with lots of low points and very few high point, and only one very high point (see the first image), although average per post engagement does not look very bad (see the second image).The content strategy adopted by the brand is not social media friendly. Instead of trying to open a two-way communication channel, the brand use Facebook to bombard people with the kinds of message it uses traditional media for (like the one in the following image).
Lenovo India on Twitter
There is nothing remarkable about Lenovo’s twitter account. It looks like a carbon copy of its Facebook page. Apart from its failed attempt at creating quiz (will talk about it in a while) and addressing customer complains, which it gets in tons, Lenovo has nothing new to offer on twitter. The posts are identical copies of that of Facebook with hashtags and other twitter tools thrown in (see the images below).
Let’s get back to its attempt of creating failed quizzes. As you can see in the following screenshot, which represents the brand’s attempt to engage its 3,100-odd fans and failing at it. The reason behind its failure is its lack adherence to the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) principle, which is the must-adhere-to principle for social media. I am not sure who can get 8 brand association words for Lenovo in the following quiz in just one minute, except for the person who designed the quiz.
The brand should have kept it simple. The goal of social media is not to force a direct recall to your fans and followers, but to engage them and build community around your brand. Lenovo didn’t succeed at that.
Comparison with competitor:
Although there are several brand in the market, Hewlett Packard (HP) eyes for a customer with a profile similar to that of Lenovo’s, so it is but logical to compare how the studied brand did vis-à-vis HP.
The content strategy of HP is almost similar to that of Lenovo, but still it has more fans than Lenovo and even engagement pattern is better than that of the brand I am studying (see the following image), even at the time of writing the number of people engaged with HP was far greater than that of Lenovo (see image two and three).
One noticeable difference in the content strategies of both the brands is the use of contests and giveaways. HP is using it more than Lenovo, and it mixes the contests well with the context (see the image below) riding on the popularity of famous popular culture signs and symbols. And it has created a winner by dedicated one post each to the winner of its contests (see the second image below). The number of likes on the second image is a testimony to the fact.
There is a lot to learn for Team Lenovo, which wants people to join “Lenovo Facebook page to help us tell your story.” The brand that thinks “Everything starts with an idea..” lacks some basic understanding of Social Media. It should go back to fundamentals and use the medium as it is intended to be used and not the way it has used traditional media. The learning curve might be steep, but it is worth the effort.
Its clear that Lenovo suffers from “lets keep it safe” strategy. Its almost as if there is little interest in running a community and the agenda seems to be to just use Facebook as a corporate content board where broadcasting is the only focus.
Being a technology brand with a portfolio including Laptops, mobiles and tablets its sad to see the lack of creativity and application for its Facebook page. What’s even worse is that twitter is being used as “lets just copy paste” kind of medium. No excitement on tech or design inspirations or even an attempt to engage the tech enthusiast makes this a lame attempt at social media. The efforts showcase a traditional agency thinking that has been force fitted to social media.
Expert View by Rajiv Dingra Founder & CEO of WATConsult – An Award Winning Social Media Agency.
Analytics support courtesy: Simplify360